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ALL ABOUT LACHEN AND LACHUNG

Do you have the audacity to drive through daredevil terrains leading to these exotic, yet unexplored regions in the North Eastern part of India?

Have you even wondered if really, “Daar kea age jeet hai?” and if you want that the answer is “yes” to this question then you can definitely pursue the road leading to the most scenic region/ location of North Sikkim being Lachen and Lachung.

To reach these locations in the state of Sikkim, you will have to drive up to at the minimum height of 8600 ft. and if you want to explore more of the mountainous terrain of Sikkim. You can drive up to 17,000 ft. where the untouched Yumthang Valley will grace you with its beauty.  

Lachen and Lachung can be accessed from Gangtok by passing through the raw gradients of the road. We say raw because as these locations are unexplored by the tourists, the road networks are underdeveloped or under the developing stage. Lachen and Lachung is at a distance of about 120kms from Gangtok which we covered by car in the time frame of 6 hours. Though being at a distance of 120kms the roads are not very vehicle-friendly and hence you take a couple of more hours to reach than expected. The road journey comprises of passing through bridges made up of wooden planks below beside which the mighty and fiercely falling waterfalls flows. Only one vehicle can pass through the weak bridges at a time so you can imagine how difficult the road journey is. A part of your road journey will be adjoining with TESTA RIVER that accompanies you in your road journey for a little while.

In How Much Time Will You Reach From Gangtok ?

The time taken to reach Lachen and Lachung depends on varied reasons like:

  1. The time of the year you are travelling.
  2. The weather conditions prevailing during that time.
  3. The driving skills of the driver.
  4. The type of car that you take.
  5. The company with whom you are travelling
  6. The number of breaks taken during journey
  7. Your resistance to motion sickness.          

                                                                                                                                                                      We had been to Lachen and Lachung in the month of May wherein the weather was pleasantly cold during the day at about 10 degrees and it would drop by the night to 4 degrees

Rooms And Accommodation

As we started our journey we expected not a fancy stay but fairly decent as these regions are very isolated for any major development. There are no particularly professional hotels but only guest house and Lodgings which are usually operated by the locals. So, if you are expecting your stay to the exotic in this region of Sikkim then sadly it will not be fulfilled.

We stayed at Himalayan Residency which is one of the best “hotels” of Lachen but to our disappointment the rooms were below average with just one room and an attached washroom. On our arrival we were given the room situated on the ground level but on request the next day we were shifted to the 1stfloor but it anyway did not make much difference.

You cannot expect any electricity throughout the day (and there is no exaggeration to this) and the food served is very basic, home cooked, purely vegetarian food. The food was good enough but as you have travelled so far to these destinations, you expect a little more on the food quotients.

The staff functions only on their whims and schedules. Like for instance we asked for a tea at a time and hence they did not serve us the tea. The staff is overly complacent and non-adjusting to some reasonable demands of the guests. If you are lucky enough, you may get electricity during some part of the day but the T.V set is just merely a show piece on the walls. We technically stayed for one and half day at Himalayan Residency and as we reached late in the evening around 8pm we had to be in the room as leaving the hotel is not safe due to lack of street lights.

Things To Be Careful About While Road Journey

As per our plan the following day we had to leave for Yumthang Valley which is at an altitude of 1,000 ft. and which would take about 4 hours and leave the hotel before sunrise but sometimes what we plan never happens and its for good. We cancelled our plan of going to the Yumthang Valley because our driver was an alcoholic and was on his phone while driving which we even recorded to show it to the owner.

And hence to not risk our lives we cancelled going to such a high altitude with such untrustworthy driver.

Bellas Suggestion: after such an experience we would suggest you to please crosscheck the driver that will be with you on this trip who is more responsible and not lethargic with his driving skills and safety. Our driver played some very local music which was not understandable by us. We are not against the local folk music or song but on such a tough and a long journey like this you expect to listen songs you know to divert the mind. Therefore, one full day we had to spend at Himalayan Residency just doing nothing but taking small strolls in and around the area that too we had to return to the hotel before it got dark.

But if you have a good check on the driver who will accompany you, it will become easily possible for you to cover some beautiful unexplored high-altitude places like Yamthung Valley, Zero Point and Lachung.

When we were going from Gangtok to Lachen one well-constructed bridge was about to get inaugurated so we had to take the raw bridge and, on our way, back we had a relief that we were able to pass through the newly inaugurated bridge so that means at least once during the difficult journey this well paved bridge will be a sigh of relief. All said and done if you want to do something “toofani” you can take a trip to these offbeat locations of Sikkim. Also, on a side on to visit Yumthang Valley and Zero Point and some other locations which are very near to the China border where the civilians are allowed, you can keep Lachen at the centre point.

Disclaimer: The images in this particular blogpost are sourced from Google.

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